Ask me Anything part 2 – ANSWERS

I was meant to post this yesterday, but this has been the most insane week ever! So here are my answers to your questions!

Mike asked ‘Your top 5 favorite movies?’ The Apartment, All About Eve, Casablanca, Some Like it Hot and – that’s the issue, I can never come up with a top 5, 10 or 20. But those four are pretty much the top 4.

Your top 3 favorite plays?’ Humm, interesting one. Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman and Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap.

Your top 3 favorite TV shows of all time?’ Queer as Folk (US Version), The Golden Girls and… the third one could be a million-way tie between soooo many shows, including Cold Case (read my article here), Ozark, Orange is the New Black, Boston Legal, Whose Line Is It Anyway? (US), etc…

Your top 2 favorite musical performers?’ Is that performers in musicals, or music acts? I’m assuming music acts, so Duran Duran and George Michael. If you mean musicals, Judy Garland and Gene Kelly.

Favorite current actress and actor’ Again, sooo many. Going to say, at the moment I’m a little bit obsessed with Timothee Chalamet.

Troy asked ‘Have you seen Michael Mann’s Collateral?’ Maaaany years ago, will have to get back to you on that one!

Gill asked ‘Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? You’re allowed three actors, two actresses and a director’ Love this question! Cary Grant, Jack Lemmon, Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck and Billy Wilder.

Jon DiBenedetto asked ‘What are your top 5 favorite noirs?’ Double Indemnity, Laura, The Killers, The Big Combo and Sweet Smell of Success.

Favorite Hollywood films of the 1930s?’ Bringing up Baby, Three on a Match, My Man Godfrey, Baby Face, etc

Most underrated director?’ Humm… probably Lewis Milestone or Gregory LaCava.

Thank you for your questions, everyone! Read my ’30 useless facts about me’ article on my Medium page here 😀

ONE MOVIE, THREE QUOTES: To Have and Have Not (1944)

As I mentioned in my previous post (ask me questions!!), my birthday is coming up. I will be thirty years old next Friday, September 16th. That is also Lauren Bacall’s birthday, something I’m very proud of. And because I’ll be answering your questions on my birthday and because I haven’t had any memorable lines of my own in any movie, September’s ONE MOVIE, THREE QUOTES goes to Lauren Bacall. More precisely To Have and Have Not (1944, dir. Howard Hawks), which I would argue is Lauren’s film. Seriously, to own a movie that hard at just 19 years old is unbelievable. Here’s the deal: American fisherman Harry ‘Steve’ Morgan (Humphrey Bogart) helps the French Resistance by transporting people to the island of Martinique, while romancing lounge singer Marie ‘Slim’ Browning (Lauren Bacall). Here are three of my favorite quips, all Lauren’s:

  1. What are you trying to do, guess her weight?’ Slim to Steve – Steve caries an unconscious woman to a bed, and Slim is, of course, jealous. And we like that.
  2. I’m not hard to get, Steve. All you have to do is ask.’ Slim to Steve – I mean, isn’t that one of the coolest lines?
  3. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.’ Slim to Steve – This probably makes this the most predictable ONE MOVIE, THREE QUOTES ever, but hey, it’s a killer line, I don’t care!

Stay tuned for my Ask Me Anything answers on the 16th!

Ask Me Anything, part 2!

Sooooo… guess who’s turning 30 in a few weeks? That’s right, on September 16th, I shall be exiting my twenties, hopefully with panache. And so, I’ve decided to do another Ask Me Anything, which is obviously what the public wants. So anything you want to know about me, feel free to ask! Like always, almost anything goes. Cinema, music, life, writing, whatever! Post your questions in the comment section, on Instagram, the blog’s Facebook page or my personal page. Just ask away and have fun!

ONE MOVIE, THREE QUOTES: La Strada (1954)

So, I came back from Venice a few days ago and it was absolutely grand spending a few days in one of my favorite cities in the world. And I did say August’s ONE MOVIE, THREE QUOTES was going to relate to my travels somehow. No, not Summertime (1955, dir. David Lean), you’ll be surprised to hear. Instead, I’m going to be talking about one of my favorite Italian films of all time, La Strada (1954, dir. Federico Fellini), which was the first featured film on my WORLD CINEMA series last year. Ah, good times. La Strada follows Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina), a simple woman who is sold by her mother to strongman Zampano (Anthony Quinn) to go on the road with him. Read my review here.

Here are three of my favorite quotes from it:

‘What a funny face! Are you a woman, really? Or an artichoke?’ The Fool (Richard Basehart) – This pretty much sums up Gelsomina and I mean that in the best way possible. Giulietta Masina had an incredible face. And in this particular role, well… it’s heaven.

Come here. There should be something here to fit you. I want you to look elegant. I don’t want to see you in rags. My women have always looked smart.’ Zampano – Zampano’s a complete brute and Quinn pulls no punches here.

Do you remember how beautiful it was, Zampano? Watching the rain from the window that day?’ Gelsomina – Her vulnerability, her sweetness, her kindness are all on display here and it’s both beautiful and tragic to watch. Is it obvious she’s one of my favorite movie characters of all time?

News, screenings and more!

Image from Travelkalutara

You may have seen on the Facebook page for the Garden that I will be hosting a screening of David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) at the Cinema Museum in London, UK, on 1st September and I’m suuuuuper excited about it! This will be the first of a series of screenings honoring screenwriters, so if you live in London, you know what to do! Come and watch me bang on about Carl Foreman, his blacklisting and essentially how much I love the film.

In other news, I will be away most of next month, travelling and finishing my stage play. I’ll be blogging as usual though, and one of the posts for August will have a little something to do with my travelling endeavours. Meanwhile, I’m also posting on Medium, so check it out if you haven’t yet!

Love, Carol

ONE MOVIE, THREE QUOTES: A Summer Place (1959)

Image from The Movie Database

It’s unbearably hot and I live in London without a beach in sight, or indeed a fan in my house. Fun. BUT summer’s here and the Garden is going all summer-y for July’s ONE MOVIE, THREE QUOTES, with A Summer Place (1959, dir. Delmer Daves), one of the ultimate summer movies. Is the theme song more famous than the movie itself? Yes, it is (and it is now stuck in your head). But does A Summer Place deserve some recognition for its fantastic summer-ness and family drama? Oh yeah. Here it is: Bart Hunter (Arthur Kennedy) and his wife Sylvia (Dorothy McGuire) own a summer inn on Pine Island, Maine. One summer, the Jorgensons, Ken (Richard Egan) and Helen (Constance Ford), and their daughter Molly (Sandra Dee) arrive on the island for a summer getaway. The Hunters’ son Johnny (Troy Donahue) and Molly start a romance, while Sylvia and Ken rekindle theirs, twenty years after it ended. Draaamaaa.

Here are the quotes:

1. ‘I’m perfectly willing to come to you whenever you are.’ Sylvia to Ken – Dorothy McGuire has always been so underrated. And so has Richard Egan, for that matter. This is a wonderful scene and they are both at the top of their game.

2. ‘Are you anti-people and anti-life? Must you suffocate every natural instinct in our daughter too? Must you label young love-making as cheap and wanton and indecent? Must you persist in making ‘sex’ itself, a filthy word?’ Ken to Helen – The whole speech, in fact, the whole scene, is great and like something out of a Douglas Sirk melodrama. This is the kind of rebuttal that a 1950s puritanical society needed to hear. It’s quite jarring, when you think about it.

3. ‘I love you so much I ache inside.’ Johnny to Molly – I just adore their romance. They are so sweet and adorable, but I also love how mature they are for their age and how they stand up for each other.

There you have it. Go on, hum the theme tune.

PRIDE MONTH: Fante and Mingo from The Big Combo (1955)

Image from UltraFabius tumblr page

It’s Pride Month and, once again, I give you one of my favorites ‘are-they-I-don’t-know-it-was-the-fifties-nah-they-gotta-be-look-at-them-it’s-way-too-obvious’ LGBT couples from Hollywood’s Golden Age. The impossibly cool gangsters Fante (Lee Van Cleef) and Mingo (Earl Holliman), from The Big Combo (1955, dir. Joseph H. Lewis).

I’ve talked about The Big Combo here, here and here, so I won’t bore you again, but here’s the thing. It remains, in my opinion, one of the most exciting, most exhilarating films noir of all time, as well as one of the most complete and well-rounded. I could watch it over and over and over and you will not be surprised to know that I have. Part of what makes it so unique is, of course, what they managed to get past the censors: Mr Brown (Richard Conte) going down on Susan (Jean Wallace) while the camera remains on her face comes to mind, and then there’s Fante and Mingo. Brown’s henchmen are quite clearly a gay couple, and everyone seems to be aware of and OK with that – in the film’s opening scene, Susan hits Mingo, then looks directly at Fante to see his reaction. There are plenty of innuendos, logically (‘The cops will be looking for us in every closet.’), they sleep naked next to each other though in separate beds (even Lucy and Ricky couldn’t get away with that one!) and they seem to always be in synch, no matter what they do. The fact that they are gangsters also goes against old-fashioned expectations and I find that refreshing. I’ve always loved these two and I love that them being a couple wasn’t a joke, in the same way so many characters were in the early days of Hollywood. Everyone in their circle respects Fante and Mingo. And we respect Joseph H. Lewis for it.

ONE MOVIE, THREE QUOTES: A Star is Born (1954)

Image from Pinterest

June 2022, the 10th to be precise, marks the centenary of Judy Garland’s birth. The BFI in my city is having a Judy season and I am, logically, there like a shot. And here at the Garden, we are celebrating the world’s most talented individual with another edition of ONE MOVIE, THREE QUOTES. I’ve talked about Meet Me in St Louis (1944, dir. Vincente Minnelli) here, here and here, so I’ll refrain from going on about it, ‘cause even I am getting on my nerves. But yeah, it’s my all-time favorite musical, without a close second and I love my musicals, so that’s how much I love Meet Me in St Louis! But alas, this time, we’re going back to 1954 with the second version of A Star is Born (dir. George Cukor). You know the story, aging movie star Norman Maine (James Mason, in an Oscar-nominated performance) meets aspiring performer Esther Blodgett (Garland, also nominated), and the two of them get together, as their careers take very different paths. Here are three of my favorite quotes from A Star is Born:

1. ‘I need a job.’ Norman – The repeating of this line as he drunkenly addresses the audience during Esther’s Oscar acceptance speech is just brilliant. His life has fallen apart, he’s finished and he knows it. His old colleagues are there, everyone he’s ever known in the industry is there, and all he can do, out of desperation, is tell them that he needs a job…

2. Esther’s monologue about Norman’s alcoholism – Yes, I know, this is a bit of a cop-out, but I couldn’t leave this one out. Judy Garland’s performance in this scene is something to behold. Heart-breaking, sad and ultimately bittersweet, this was no doubt one of those moments that earned her that Academy Award nomination.

3. ‘Hello everybody. This is Mrs Norman Maine.’ Esther – Curtain.

Happy Judy Garland season!

My Medium page – reviews, lists and more!

Hello everyone! Quick reminder that I’m on Medium, if you’d like to follow me (email subscription is fine)! I recently wrote about the 8 sexiest scenes in classic movies, including Marlene Dietrich smoking in Shanghai Express (1932, dir. Josef von Sternberg), Lauren Bacall’s rendition of ‘How Little We Know’ in To Have and Have not (1944, dir. Howard Hawks) and Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman smooching in Notorious (1946, dir. Alfred Hitchcock), among others. You’ll also get top 7, 8, 9 and 10 lists, TV reviews, and of course, miscellaneous stuff. Those of you already following, thank you, you’re all lovely ❤

https://saintmartincarol.medium.com/

ONE MOVIE, THREE QUOTES: Woman of the Year (1942)

Image from Pinterest

It’s Katharine Hepburn’s birthday and you know what that means. May’s edition of ONE MOVIE, THREE QUOTES goes out to her! No, not The Philadelphia Story (1940), I’ve talked about that one far too much at this point. Also not Bringing up Baby (1938), Holiday (1938) or Stage Door (1937), which, endlessly quotable as they may be, they have also made numerous appearances here on the Garden. Nah, let’s go for Kate and Spencer’s first film together, Woman of the Year (1942, dir. George Stevens): international affairs correspondent Tess Harding (Hepburn) and sportswriter Sam Craig (Tracy) fall in love, but Tess’ hectic lifestyle starts getting in the way of their relationship. This is probably my favorite Hepburn-Tracy film, along with Adam’s Rib, and I thought I’d pay tribute to it on this day. So here are three of my ultimate quotes from Woman of the Year!

1. ‘I want to take you to a baseball game.’ ‘OK!’ (Sam and Tess) – The beginning of it all! This rather simple dialogue is just perfect for this scene – their first. Sam’s uneasiness and Tess’ enjoyment of it go together perfectly. Her delivery of ‘OK’ is just *chef’s kiss*

2. ‘I don’t want to speak to him now, he’s a pest.’ ‘She doesn’t want to speak to you now, you’re a pest.’ (Tess and Sam) – Cranky Sam is a funny Sam. Don’t know what I like more, Tess’ face after that, or the lovey-dovey moment on the couch afterwards. 

3. ‘Thought you might want to kiss me goodbye...’ (Tess) – It’s a well-known fact that Hepburn and Tracy fell in love during the making of this film, and it’s just a joy to watch. Nearly every scene in this film is like a real-life version of fanfiction and I, for one, looove it.

Happy Katharine Hepburn Day!